Thursday, 17 October 2013

Carrots; Steamed vs Raw

Sometime ago, I wrote about the health benefit of carrots, if you missed it, click HERE. However for sometime, I had rather steam a mixture of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and I end up snacking on them most times when I feel a bit peckish. Having conversations with some friends over the weekend, an argument arose over the nutrition content of raw vegetables over heated veggies. I love my veggies but I am no fan of having them raw. I however dont mind having carrots raw in coleslaw and even stand alone but I prefer the succulence of having them steamed. So I decided to do a research on the benefits of having carrots steamed and look what I discovered..


Carrots are packed with antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene. The antioxidants in carrots play major roles heart and eye health and may aid in cancer prevention. Steaming is a healthy way to prepare carrots and makes nutrients such as beta-carotene easier for your body to absorb than eating raw carrots.

Cook Whole
This was really an eye opener for me as I am in the habit of dicing them before cooking. However researchers say Cooking carrots whole before chopping them up boosts their anti-cancer properties by 25 per cent.Leaving the vegetable intact prevents valuable nutrients from being easily washed away into the water, claim scientists.
As an added bonus, boiling unchopped carrots also makes them taste better, they said.
They can then be chopped up once cooked without loss of nutrients.

Cancer Prevention
Steamed carrots could aid in preventing cancers of the colon, esophagus and stomach. Beta-carotene and another antioxidant in carrots -- called falcarinol -- may slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. A study published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" found that rats that were fed a diet that incorporated carrots were one-third less likely to develop tumors than rats that did not eat carrots.

Steamed carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for eye health. Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States but can result in night blindness, dry eyes and complete blindness. The nutrients in carrots may also reduce the development of glaucoma and cataracts.

Heart Health
Carrots are a heart-healthy food because they contain fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. High-fiber diets are helpful in lowering high cholesterol and are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Steamed carrots are also a good source of potassium, which aids in lowering high blood pressure.

I once visited a friend who had just put to bed and the baby looked so amazing, not the regular new born baby look, but this was actually a beautiful child. And when I kept commenting on the babys look, she goes "elly, its having carrots everyday". Looking for that beautiful skin? Dont forget your carrots everyday.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Just a 'little' more time.....

We always come to a point in life, when we feel we badly need 'SOMETHING'. The SOMETHING here might be a promotion, recognition, healing, victory from a battle, a job change, relocation, a relationship, it could even mean more time, or a hurry to meet up wit certain demands, you name it. But the shocking reality of life, is that what we think we need badly like yesterday, might not really be what we need. It may be that we need the opposite, which is more time.

I was speaking with a friend, a few days ago and what I kept saying was 'thank God' I waited.
And even yesterday, as I spoke to some other friend, in our conversations the same issue arose and I said to her again 'thank God' I waited, what if I had made that particular move? I wouldn't have felt as fulfilled as I do now.

I am currently reading the book of 2Samuel in the bible that centres much on David and the battles he had to fight, his travails and horror from the reality of being killed someday by Saul. However in 1Samuel 29, as David is left with no choice but to take refuge in the enemy camp, he felt obliged to join the philistines to war against his own people. And I cant help but imagine if he would still have been made king, if he had gone to battle against his own people and massacred them. However Gods plan is always perfect, and David ended up not joining in that battle.

Sometimes what we think we cant live without, is really what we don't need, and what we think we badly need at a particular time might end up being the genesis of our disaster if it happened at the time we wanted. Everything that happens to us is for a reason, the school of hard knocks they say produces the greatest scholars, and adversity is their teacher.

I recently read in a devotional this; ‘When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man it will place obstacles in the path of his deeds so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.’ And it has stayed with me ever since.

Sometimes we don't know our strengths, until we pass through the crucible. I remember having a chat weeks back with a friend who lost his wife and a week old baby in an inferno 4 years ago and as we spoke about a challenge a different friend of ours was going through, I reminded him of himself. And in my own words I said; "If anyone told you, you would survive the death of your wife and child, would you have believed?" And I continued by saying, we will get through that situation or achieve an incomprehensible dream, if we just give the situation  'a little more time' and choose to 'hold up' rather than 'fold up'.

And today I encourage you to give yourself, someone else, that situation a little more time. It might just be all you need....

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Back To Basics

When we are young and of school age, we live our lives based on what we are taught and regardless of how we feel of the regulations of the various schools we attend, we live our lives strictly adhering to the norms of the school because we are quite clear on what the consequences are, if we violate those rules.

However when we grow older and begin working for different organisations, we come to work everyday obeying the set rules/policies/procedures of the corporations we work for  regardless of how amiable or antagonistic  we consider our bosses.

Now when it comes to our own very lives, the scenario is a bit different. We tend to be clueless on what to base our values/passion on. Most of us base our values on what is acceptable, the risk of doing this is that what is acceptable today, may not be acceptable tomorrow. However the pressure to be accepted causes us to keep making this mistake. Also the constant change in times/needs/environment/governments can easily throw us into a confused state of mind on what values we consider core.

 For work and school and other regulated places we might find ourselves, there is normally a set time. For instance, we spend about eight hours at work or sometimes a bit more or less and the same applies to schools. For the period of time we spend in these places, it might not be the best places/ conditions, regardless we try to front a different us "BEST BEHAVIOUR" approach I call it. Thereafter, life goes on and it is at this time that the real us is set free. At this point we become lord over ourselves and think we can do as we please. For every action we take however, there is always a consequence to live with positive or negative.

Today, question anyone on why they act in a certain way/ indulge in a particular habit and they would have a thousand and one answers to buttress their point. Lets take a look at terrorism and the killings, and the terrorists will have more than enough reasons to indulge in the attacks carried out. A murderer will give you so many reasons while he killed his victim. When partners cheat on each other, they have so many reasons why they did that. And the list goes on and on.

We wont always have set rules to live by, at work or schools etc however our performance/achievement in life is solely based on the  good values we personally inculcate in us outside of these environments. And with the changing times/governments/ policies it is difficult to develop our values except these values are based on the very word that has stood the test of time THE BIBLE. In the book of Joshua 1:8 it says the book of the Law, shall not depart from our mouth night or day, and when we are careful to observe what the bible says, our prosperity is guaranteed.

In search of peace, prosperity, direction, wisdom, joy, success? Go back to basics!
"THE  BIBLE".....

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Thinking Relocation?

Recently a friend informed me that he was relocating to Australia as a result of work, initially it sounded a bit too much for me as I saw it as such a big leap. However, I just decided to have a look into the city as I surfed through the web, and this is what I came across. Quite Impressive for one country to dominate the rankings with four cities. The government really does deserve a pat on their backs if you ask me!   

Aussie rules: Melbourne named world's best place to live for the third year running as four Australian cities feature in top ten
Melbourne was lauded for its healthcare, education and infrastructure
The city beat Austrian capital Vienna into second place in the rankings
The table was compiled by the Economist intelligence Unit

With its beautiful parks, enviable healthcare and location next to one of the world's best coastal drives, it's little wonder people want to live in Melbourne.
While it may not necessarily have the glamorous appeal of Sydney, Australia's second city has been ranked the world's most liveable city for the third year running.
Home to almost 4.25million people, it beat Austrian capital Vienna into second place, with Vancouver in Canada ranking third.

Top spot: Melbourne was lauded in every category from healthcare to education in the rankings which saw it crowned number one place to live in the world for the third year running

Australia dominates the ranking with four cities - Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth - in the top ten, with Canadian cities accounting for three of the others.
Despite its popularity with tourists however, London is nowhere to be seen.
The rankings were compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit which explains that the destinations that score highest are 'mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density.'
The ratings take into account: stability, worked out by looking at crime rates and civil unrest; quality of healthcare; culture and environment; education and infrastructure.

1. Melbourne, Australia
Winner: Australia's second city was lauded in all categories, scoring the maximum 100 out of 100 for its healthcare, education and infrastructure and being awarded 95 and 95.1 in the stability and culture and environment categories respectively. The city, home to 4.2million, has topped the rankings for the past three years, scoring 97.5 overall. Melbourne is famed for its vibrant multi-culturalism, burgeoning arts scene, excellent food and wine and is the sporting capital of Australia.


2. Vienna, Austria

Runner up: Vienna was one of only two European cities to make the top ten. Like Melbourne, it scored maximum marks in terms of healthcare, education and infrastructure, and matched the city in terms of stability. But surprisingly, given that the Austrian capital is steeped in history, it fell short in the culture and environment category with a score of 94.4. As well as its history Vienna has a colourful contemporary arts and culture scene, a bustling nightlife, picturesque vineyards on the outskirts and an innovative performing arts scene.

Vienna, Austria

3. Vancouver, Canada

Third place: Vancouver in Canada Scored top marks for health, education, and culture and environment. It gained third spot thanks to its 95 out of 100 ranking in terms of stability and a 92.9 mark for infrastructure. The city is known for its majestic natural beauty located between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific ocean. The city is relatively small compared to some of the other top ten destinations with a little over 600,000 living there.

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Toronto, Canada

Fourth: Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populated city in Canada. It scored top marks in terms of stability, healthcare and education, but fell short of the winners as it scored 97.2 in terms of culture and environment and a relatively low 89.3 in terms of infrastructure. The city's most famous landmark is the CN Tower, which at 1,815 ft tall is one of the world's tallest buildings. The city's surrounds are home to some stunning wineries.

Toronto, Canada

5. Calgary, Canada

Fifth: Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, with a population of almost 1.1million. It scored 100 out of 100 in the stability. healthcare and education categories as well as an impressive 96.4 in terms of infrastructure. But it didn't hit top spot because of its 89.1 rating for culture. It was once ranked the world's cleanest place to live by Forbes magazine. It's a relatively young city but still claims to have a rich history and was the first ever venue for the Winter Olympics.

5. Calgary, Canada.

6. Adelaide, Australia

Sixth: Known as Australia's wine capital, Adelaide scored top marks for healthcare and education. But it could only muster 95 in terms of stability, 94.2 in terms of culture and environment and 96.4 in terms of infrastructure. The city's tourism website describes it as the '20 minute city' with all amenities including the airport and beauty spots such as Adelaide Hills within a short distance of the city centre. Adelaide has a diverse cultural mix.

6. Adelaide, Australia

7. Sydney, Australia

Seventh heaven: Sydney is the third of Australia's four cities in the top ten. It scored top marks for healthcare, education and infrastructure, but 90 for stability and 94.4 for culture. Famed for its outdoor lifestyle, the city's iconic landmarks include the Harbour Bridge, the Opera house and some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Sydney is a great place to live if you like watersports, surfing, seafood and wine.

Sydney, Australia

8. Helsinki, Finland

Eighth: The Finnish capital scored top marks for stability and healthcare and impressive scores of 96.4 for infrastructure, 91.7 for education and 90 for culture and environment. It is the most populous city in Finland and located on a picturesque arm of the Baltic Sea coastline. It is famed for its art nouveau architecture and maintains its small-town feel despite being an international municipality and a hub for Finnish commerce.

Helsinki, Finland

9. Perth, Australia

The final Australian entry in the top ten. Perth hit top marks in healthcare, education, and infrastructure and scored 95 in the stability category. But its overall marked was dragged down by an 88.7 score for culture and environment. It is the largest city in Western Australia and home to almost 1.9million people. Australia's 'sunniest capital city', Perth mixes vibrant city culture with stunning nature and is home to some gorgeous beaches.

Perth, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

 Auckland in New Zealand scored top marks for its education. It scored 95 and above in all other categories bar infrastructure, which saw it score 92.9. Like many others in the top ten, Auckland, known as Tamaki Makaurau to the indigenous Maori people, combines nature and a vibrant city life. The city claims that everyone lives within half hour of a beautiful beach, a hiking trail and 'a dozen enchanted holiday islands'.

 Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ndidi Emefiele-Inspired By Design

In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by- Lucille Ball

Mother Theresa, once said greatness is achieved not necessarily by doing great things but by doing small things greatly. The things we consider as insignificant and irrelevant, end up leaving lasting remarks. You want to love someone? love without limits, you have got a job? Do it to the best of your ability, You want  to make a difference? Start from where you are, with the people you come across, having genuine interest in others as well as being as transparent as possible, Do you have a Dream? pursue it, till you see it actualized.  Because when we stop dreaming, we stop living.
Also if we only dream without pursuing it, life becomes a mirage, more of an illusion than reality.

Culture shapes the perception, attitudes, skills and has a 360 degree effect in the way people live their lives, what they believe in, what they fear, what they consider acceptable or unacceptable and also their expression of love, beauty, nature, eras, pain etc.

African art, has evolved with time and the value placed on African art, is on a steady increase. The art is not something new but the value of the art, as well as its appreciation has been on a steady increase. The truth is that if you dont know your worth/value, you risk being exploited by others who know your value, but are too selfish to open your eyes to the reality of what you could accomplish for fear of losing out.

The demand and interest in modern art from Africa is on the rise. Works by west African artists have particularly seen an increase in sales.
This year, high profile galleries like London's Tate Modern have featured exhibitions by Nigerian artists. Ndidi Emefieles art is one of those that has achieved high recommendation and is sold for as much as $10,000. In this era where young african artist are gradually on the decline, she has pursued her dreams and I must say I am impressed at how her dream has earned her international recognition.

No dream is too small, no amount of hardwork is too much. Keep dreaming, keep believing, keep working hard, and just one day, it will surely pay off. It must not necessarily be international recognition but the fulfillment of knowing that you gave 'LIFE' nothing short of the very best you could.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Todays Tots

"The size of your success is measured by 

the strength of your desire; the size of 

your dream; and how you handle 

disappointment along the way".

Robert Kiyosaki

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People Collector!

If I have not learnt a lot in life, I have learnt that every single thing as well as every single person in our lives, happens for a reason....